Premier says Islanders will have to make lifestyle changes to address climate change concerns

Teresa Wright
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FILE PHOTO: Anne Robichaud of Air Canada checks Premier Wade MacLauchlan's paperwork at the Charlottetown Airport Friday evening as he prepares to fly to Paris to attend the international talks on climate change

Paris delegates were impressed at P.E.I.’s impressive strides in embracing green energy

Prince Edward Islanders will have to begin making some big lifestyle changes as more urgent action is needed on climate change, says P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan.

MacLauchlan took part in the COP21 climate change summit in Paris earlier this week, participating in panels and discussions with leaders from across the country and the globe.

He said P.E.I.’s story resonated especially in highlighting the need for more immediate action to stop the negative effects of climate change.

“The issue of rising sea levels and vulnerability and adaptation is very much one that people appreciate in the case of P.E.I. when I tell people like (federal Environment Minister) Catherine McKenna that we lost 43 centimetres of our shoreline on average last year, that brings it home.”

But COP21 delegates were also impressed at P.E.I.’s impressive strides in embracing green energy, notably how Prince Edward Island generates up to 80 per cent of its electricity from wind during peak periods.

Nonetheless, MacLauchlan said Islanders will have to do more to reduce emissions and conserve resources.

Transportation is one of the biggest sources of emissions in P.E.I. something that will have to be addressed partly through technology and partly through an examination of how often Islanders use their vehicles, MacLauchlan said.

Lifestyle adjustments can also make a difference, he added.

“If teenagers take shorter showers that will help. If people go for a walk in the woods rather than turning on their cooling systems in August that will help.”

MacLauchlan says he is confident Islanders can do their part to make the changes needed to stop the negative effects of the warming planet. He pointed to improvements in smoking rates over the years as proof changes can happen when people recognize risks and unite in effort to make improvements.

“We won’t have any choice,” he said.

“This is now more urgent than people have understood it to be and if we’re looking at getting down to the kind of emissions levels that are being contemplated by the people who are negotiating in Paris we’re going to have to make some big changes.”

The P.E.I. premier plans to unveil a new energy strategy for the province early in the new year that will include his government’s climate change plan.

“That will undoubtedly include working on lower emissions, working on more green energy mix and working on mitigation and adaptation.”

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Paris

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Recent comments

  • Retired from TPW
    December 12, 2015 - 16:32

    Seriously Premier? Take a walk in the woods? Is that the best you have? I worked in TPW for 25 years and I've seen so much waste its unreal. All the supervisors driving around in 4x4 trucks putting 400,000 kms on in 5-6 years on single vehicles-and these trucks were used like cars not work trucks! Then theres the "road Checkers" in winter driving around in half tons checking the roads-why cant this work be done in vehicles which would get 45 mpg instead of 15? Taxpayers have no idea just how much waste their is in TPW-start there Mr Premier and i'll be impressed!

  • Joe Doe
    December 12, 2015 - 14:59


  • Summerside Resident
    December 12, 2015 - 12:48

    We were sucked intow wind mill project, promised our lights bills would drop, guess what, no decrease in electricity, only a constant increase. Summerside sells its wind mill electricity to NB., ALSO runs our new CUP complex with this energy, if not the place would be closed long ago. If all you want is lies and deceit people come to Summerside Council meetings and question them. You want to see comedians squirm, please come. And bring a tape recorder because thwey have very bad memories. Another thing Summerside never admits to a mistake. Griffin Lawsuit cost the taxpayers $3.7 million, all hush hush because he beat them bad. Almost 22 people killed at the CUP, hush, hush, no evalucation emergency plan in place, there are many more bungles. People around Bedeque had better move slow on amalgamation, steer clear of anything Bruce MacDougall would tell you.

      December 12, 2015 - 16:58

      Griffin beat them only in his own mind, which was always his down fall from High School years as Student Police to his years being Chief Mac McDonald,s little puppet. I still don,t think his EGO is broken yet . Still in his own mind he thinks he could never do anything wrong. Seen this puppet in action to many times. It would have been worth more to get rid of him. Harsh you think ,but this phrase was said more then once by Griffin to the Chief over his career. What goes around comes around. Griffin is only proof of that and nothing more.

    December 12, 2015 - 11:41

    If PEI can generate up to 80% of electricity through wind, why are they giving Maritime Electric HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of dollars to bring a new hydro line from NB? If MacLauchlan wants to be a real hero in the eyes of the world, why doesn't he use the many millions that he is giving Maritime Electric to put up more wind mills and solar heating and let Maritime Electric go back to Nfld. so we don't have to give them all this new money plus give them a guaranteed 10% return each year. Who in this world is guaranteed a 10 % annual return? Enough with the BS. I can't see how the world thinks we are doing such a good job when he never adressed the problem of pesticides and all the other toxic chemicals farmers are putting into our ground water and air, and to top it all of, we guaranty a utility 10% annual return, they must think that we are a bunch of fools and they would probably be correct in their thinking. He says we lost 45% of our shoreline last year, yet they won't allow land owners to construct sea wall s to stop the erosion and storm surges. Another typical Liberal blowhard.

  • taxpayer
    December 12, 2015 - 11:33

    Such positive musings are of course designed to make us feel better about the Trudeau herd, including our esteemed Premier, going to Paris at great public expense. This conference was a waste from beginning to end. To many suggestions put forward by Darcier on this site, many can be added. It does not need to cost money, much could be done by policy as mention by Hustis , if the smarts and imagination was there to do it. IN a funny way, even this issue is influenced by our culture of patronage, where government jobs are filled on the basis of who they know rather than what they know. Mr. Premier, don't loose your credibility by underestimating peoples' intelligence, - stick to the truth and facts, don't try to pull the wool over our eyes, it will not work in the long run.

  • kyle
    December 12, 2015 - 11:02

    I hope the people that own the woods don`t mind 1oo,s of people wondering around in the woods day an night. lol

  • Darcie Lanthier
    December 12, 2015 - 10:32

    There are lots of changes to be made where government can help. Transportation and home heating are the biggest problems so fix them first. Incentives to buy electric cars and more charging stations Loosening Maritime Electric's grip on power generation and distribution A building code that supports passive solar and water efficient housing A complete retraining of plumbing and electrical inspectors Downsizing all government vehicles Carpool parking lots Bike lanes that run 10-15 kms out of major towns This summer, let's hire students to do energy upgrades for low-income homeowners and put every provincial building on an energy management plan. Support for organic farming Installation of solar PV on all government buildings

    • Regular Joe
      Regular Joe
      December 12, 2015 - 17:24

      It would be a good start to say the least

  • Regular Joe
    Regular Joe
    December 12, 2015 - 09:47

    Some GALL to tell the world how we produce 80% of our own power ,but neglecting to tell them how it's to no benefit to islanders , as it's not used by the Island power grid for taxpayers use but sold to other provinces and States . Then they wonder why we are not taken seriously at these world affairs meetings . Just lies and deceit same as they feed us taxpayers on a regular basis .

  • Georgina Markov
    December 12, 2015 - 07:46

    It's wonderful that "Prince Edward Island generates up to 80 per cent of its electricity from wind during peak periods." I have been informed that this energy goes directly to another province and is bought back by PEI residents at at higher cost? What's up with that P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan???

    • Regular Joe
      Regular Joe
      December 12, 2015 - 09:44

      That's just the way they do business . Fill the pockets of the investors and sell the power off island .

  • Hustis
    December 12, 2015 - 06:52

    Should that by-line not read "some delegates" were impressed? Because it must have been the under developed countries that were impressed by PEI's environmental situation, - certainly not the European delegates. If PEI was located in Europe, all of Charlottetown and other communities across the Island would be heated from burning all our garbage. It would be done in up-dated plants with high tech scrubbers to safeguard proper emission standards. But no, we cart our stuff to the middle of the Island to become compost, that cannot be use for anything. This was the most foolish decision ever made. Had we, at that time, build the proper burning facilities, imagine the savings that would have occurring during all these years of big oil prices , as well as the elimination of green house gasses from the thousands of chimneys. The various Government's attachment and efforts of job creation in the public sector, needs re-examination. An economy that is left alone by the government, will find its own equilibrium, but that is a mental hurdle that elected members and Islanders as a whole need to overcome.

  • Observer
    December 12, 2015 - 06:26

    -----"And if the Government got serious about land use planning that directed housing development to existing subdivisions in stead of giving building permits for houses to be build anywhere and everywhere."------ Just imagine the effect, environmentally and monetary, of not having to send school busses up and down dirt roads in the bowels of each county. The effect of not having to maintain and clear roads going to single dwellings out in no-where. Long over due action is needed, but lack of political courage has taken president over sensible approaches. So to convert a statement: Ask not what the citizens can do for the environment, Mr. Premier, but look at where the Government can lead by its own actions and policies.